Russia and India have outlined an ambitious program of developing nuclear energy that envisages the construction of at least 12 reactors that meet the highest safety standards in the world, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in an exclusive interview with TASS First Deputy Director General Mikhail Gusman.

“Our relations with Russia have been unique, covering almost every field of human endeavor. We have excellent understanding at the political level. We have robust partnership in the fields of defense, nuclear energy, science and technology, and other areas,” Modi said.

“Energy is a sector where we can do a lot more. Russia is one of the world’s top sources for hydrocarbon resources and India is one of the world’s largest importers. We have had significant investments in this sector. Our hydrocarbon companies have been in the Russian market for the past two decades through investments in Sakhalin, and are presently acquiring stakes in Vankor, TassYuryakh and LNG projects,” the Indian prime minister continued.

Modi noted that “India’s global re-engagement in nuclear energy has begun with Russia.” “Energy security is critical to India’s economic development and Russia is a key partner in this area. Nuclear energy is an important component of our energy security strategy. Russia is currently our leading international partner. Our cooperation with Russia in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy is a cornerstone of our strategic partnership,” he stressed.

“I am glad that the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project has become operational, and is set to expand,” Modi continued. “I believe our cooperation in the area of nuclear energy will continue to grow. After Kudankulam, we are finalizing a second site for Russian-designed reactors in India. We have outlined an ambitious vision for nuclear energy and construction of at least 12 reactors, which will have the highest safety standards in the world,” he added. “As two countries possessing advanced nuclear technology, we are interested in taking forward this cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy,” the Indian prime minister concluded.